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Techniques and equipment

Hereon operates several synchrotron beamlines for engineering materials science at the PETRA III source of DESY in Hamburg. Among them is the imaging beamline (IBL) P05 that is dedicated to micro- and nanotomography at energies between 5 and 50 keV and a scanning small/wide angle X‐ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS) nanofocus end station at P03.
Our specialty is the development of sophisticated sample environments optimised for the investigation of metallic biomaterials at these beamlines.
The aim of our work is to gain information on the morphology, structure and composition of the bone‐implant interface at the highest possible resolution. In addition to micro‐ and nanotomography, scanning SAXS and WAXS is available to obtain detailed information about the newly-formed bone structure around the implant.

Selected components of the infrastructure

The microtomography end station at IBL is equipped with a sample changing robot and several sample environments (furnace, cooling cell, corrosion cell, load frame, etc). The following imaging techniques are available:

  • Absorption contrast with high density and spatial resolution
  • Propagation-based phase contrast for soft/biological tissues
  • Differential phase contrast (DPC) using a grating interferometer for objects with mixed phase and absorption contrast


  • Scanning SAXS/WAXS with a 250 x 350 nm beam size (nanofocus end station)
  • Laboratory SAXS/WAXS setup (Bruker Nanostar) and 2D/3D X-ray analysis (µCT, nanotom GE/phoenix) for pre-studies